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'What the hell is wheatgrass?' senior townie puzzles

The Herald reports on the confluence of townies and toonies - or as one townie called them, "yuppadoos" - at the opening of Charlestown's new Whole Foods.

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Tried it, didn't like it, won't be going back.

When are they opening the Stop & Shop near Haymarket?

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Not a fan of Whole Foods, but they are a heck of a lot better than Stop & Rob. I mean what's the point of "cheaper" food if it's low-quality?

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If you're not a fan of either WF or Stop and Shop, where do you get groceries?

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Hannaford, Johnnies, local farmers' markets, etc.

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They closed. That's why there's now a Whole Foods in Charlestown.

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I don't think there's a Market Basket in the city of Boston. When I'm in the 'burbs I stock up on shelf stable items, but their produce is limited and it's not fresh nor is most of it grown in the U.S.

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...but I've found the countries of origin at MB are no different than any other supermarket. This time of year, they have grapes/melons/berries/etc. from the US.

And they avoid the city and the more expensive suburbs probably because of the higher rents in those areas.

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I was just curious. I don't live anywhere near a Johnnie's or a Market Basket, or a Hannafords for that matter. My grocery shopping, farmer's markets aside, is closer to this than anything else. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcPI3LIUPPs&feature...

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No worries, I am lucky to have a pretty good selection in my neighborhood.

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This was cancelled.. it was suppose to be near the new condos going up at N Station. I belive the developer just pulled the plug on the project which is why that lot and air right over the off/on ramp (next to haymarket) is still empty.

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Where did this term come from? It makes me think of the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

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I always thought it was a Somerville thing, specifically aimed at Harvard kids.

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Barnies.

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You should go back to eating your wheatgrass!

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Eh, more of a soy milk guy.

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That store, when it was a Foodmaster, was one of the fanciest ones in the chain.

You could find organic Tofu, wheatgrass, etc. there before! Organic produce galore, too!

Such pretentious townie bullshit.

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So we can read a Herald report on OFDs vs DBCs.

Hmm, are there neighborhoods besides Charlestown and Dorchester with specific names for the people who were born there and the people who moved in?

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Old Fart Dorchester vs Douchebag Bro-chachos?

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Than:

Originally from Dorchester
Dorchester by Choice

And, yes, of course you can buy little oval Euro-style bumper stickers with each on them.

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Bro-chacho -- love it! Hahaha

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There's plenty of hipsters, yuppies and gays in the area who would love to have a neighborhood Whole Foods-type store. Obviously, Whole Foods in Four Corners or Bowdoin/Geneva wouldn't do anyone any good, but a location like Savin Hill would be perfectly viable.

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where the new co-op is going?

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But I doubt we'll see too many neighborhood folks shopping there unless the place manages to operate at a loss (i.e. sell below cost) without going under assuming they're planning to sell high-quality, Whole Paycheck/Harvest Coop-style food. There wouldn't be many yuppies shopping there either even if the food is much cheaper than other places unless there's lots of parking right next to the store. Saving $2 on a pound of organic tomatoes isn't really worth the elevated risk of getting violently parted with one's wallet and/or phone while walking to and from the store in the evening.

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...or my mother who has food allergies and would love to have more food options. She's not a hipster, not a yuppy and she's not gay. She leans right wing, she's working class and she'd love it if a decent grocery store with a wide variety of food and fresh produce opens up near her. Is that not Fox News Dunkin Donuts enough for you? And, holy crap! she likes wheatgrass, arugula, togu and organic meat! GASP!

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But she can afford those items, unlike the majority of the folks in the immediate vicinity of the proposed location. I highly doubt a household with sub-$20k a year income would be interested in paying $100 for a single bag if groceries. As for fox news/dunks, fox is almost as entertaining as MSNBC, and dunks is donkey piss. Did that answer your question?

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The Whole Foods store brand of many items is cheaper and better than most other places except maybe Trader Joe's. Yes, they sell $12 bottles of juice and $30 jars of spices, but just because those things are there doesn't mean you have to buy them. Plus, you can use food stamps there. They don't take WIC though.

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This is so true about Whole Foods. I buy most of my frozen vegetables there because they are often cheaper and much better quality than Shaw's or Stop and Shop. And I'm low income ($21k a year! just enough that I don't qualify for assistance!) till I get a better job!

It's pretty ridiculous that there about to be 3 Whole Foods within 1.5 miles of my place in Cambridge though!

Trader Joe's is still my best option though.

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Actually, Whole Foods does (or should) accept WIC. Changes were made about a year ago to get the chain certified. If the one you go to is giving you a hard time about it, I would contact the regional offices in Cambridge, because they should be accepting it.

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the diversity of Dorchester, esp when it comes to income. There's quite a mix there and it's a huge neighborhood--I'm betting there are more people than you think there who prioritize fresh, healthy food. And what eeka said--just because Whole Foods or a similar market might sell expensive prepared foods or organic sirloin tips doesn't mean that everyone buys them--lots of reasonably priced foods to be had, especially when you compare with local corner store/bodega prices.

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Dorchester is economically diverse, with both highly yuppified parts where condos routinely sell for $350+ a square foot and crime-ridden cesspools where it's not safe to walk around during the day, let alone after dark. Unfortunately, the location in question is in a part that fits the latter description a good deal closer than the former. Great idea but less than ideal location - most of the locals will not be able to afford the nicer stuff (food stamp/minimum wage food budget won't go too far when dealing with whole foods-like prices,) and those from outside of the neighborhood will shop elsewhere due to safety issues. Lambert's is pretty decent, and Fruit Center Marketplace is a quick shot down I-93 for those looking for something fancy.

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No question parts are pretty rough but calling them cesspools is a gross thing to say just the same. She's right, you (or whoever that anon was) are underestimating a lot. Dorchester changes from street to street.

Although, total agreement about Lambert's. I love that place.

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So I can stop trying to figure out if I should drive to Dedham or Hingham to get my wheatgrass.

Disclaimer: OFD, QBC

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Is Jamaica Plain too far?

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If I want to go to a cramped city Whole Foods with 1/4 of the stuff I want, I'll just walk down the street from my office and go to the Cambridge Street one.

The Dedham and Hingham stores are huge and radiate awesomeness.

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There probably are names, but the locals just haven't told you yet. Wait another 20 years and maybe then they will talk to you. Could it be that those neighborhoods are so transient that there is no time to come up nicknames? Or in the case of Hyde Park everyone chooses to act like they live in Dedham?

I'm sure we could have an incredibly interesting conversation on why Gen X & Y is returning to the urban core after their grandparent's generation fled them due to a host of reasons and how the lack of community or opportunity they felt growing up in sterile suburban surroundings influenced them to return? Or maybe the only real economic opportunity is found within cities now as the plants/mills/textiles that were built in 60 & 70's in suburban/farm areas have been closed down and shipped off to China or Southeast Asia for cheaper labor? (Go America!) But that would involve mature level of discourse and honestly it's more fun just to poke fun at one another.

Sincerely,

A non-sticker owning DBC resident

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Yup, the latter describes me. I work in Boston, so I live in Boston. When my mother asks me (everyone few weeks, it seems) when I'm moving back to Rhode Island I point her to the sky high unemployment rate.

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In case no one noticed, Charlestown is one square mile wide and yet there are three sets of projects there. So for the people who live in between those projects they opened a Whole Foods. I give it two years tops.

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The other half of Charlestown that isn't the Bunker Hill Street/Medford Street projects or the Main Street townies is Old Money (Monument/Gas Light District) and New Money(Charlestown Navy Yard condos). Most of those people were already shopping at Whole Foods, hopping buses to/from the one at Charles River Plaza, mixing it up with the Beacon Hill crowd. Now they have their own.

Plus, they're building rooty tooty snooty new high-end apartments on New Rutherford Ave/Rt 99 at City Square/Community College, a stone's throw from the shopping center where WFM is. Instant clientele!

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when I was first looking to buy a condo, I looked at a few places in Charlestown and realized quickly that I couldn't afford squat. Like literally 900 square feet, directly across the street from the Bunker Hill projects and it was well beyond my means. And I don't think prices have gone down since then, projects or no projects.

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My GF at the time and I paid 125 dollars a month, utilities included, for our lovely two bedroom on Deacatur Street. I wonder how much it is now?

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How old ARE you? :)

I seem to remember in family lore that my parents considered buying a beautiful 19th C town house in Charlestown for $18k--they probably could have gotten the same thing in the South End at the time.

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I'm 51, but I should have mentioned the apartment was in the Bunker Hill projects.

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51 is the new 33, so I hear.

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Go over to South Boston with the rest of the Yuppadoofus'.

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We are getting a Wal-Foods in Somerville too, unfortunately. They shut down affordable Johnnies and laid off their great staff and are replacing it with Wal-Foods, with all their "LOCAL, LOCAL LOCAL, 30 years LOCAL" signs, but they are from Texas, so not sure how that lie gets the ok.

Wal-Foods just fired some employees in Arizona for breaking the english-only rule there, and their union busting ways are well known. For some reason faux liberals still support this corporation, even though their politics are to the right of Wal-Mart (which unlike Wal-Foods supports Obamacare). No wonder the Tea Party had all those support Wal-Foods events. Luckily in Somerville we still have the affordable (and actually local) Market Basket.

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MB is very anti-union and the only reason their prices are cheap is a lack of shareholders. The Demoulas family legal feud behind the scenes has been an epic work of drama and may one day be the chain's downfall.

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Market Basket is hands down the best local grocery chain.
It might not have everything I want, I'm fine headed to Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, or Roche Brothers for the specialized items. As for Stop N Shop and Shaws, they can keep their overpriced groceries and wilted produce.

Anti-union? If it means the employees are more helpful and more pleasant to deal with, so be it.

I am aware of the family politics at MB. Employees speak well of the current leadership. How often does that happen in corporate America? I hope they work it out, no need to mess up a good thing.

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Market Basket is NOT Anti-Union.

Why? Because Market Basket actually treats its employees with respect and value. The current family fued about between the two Arthurs clearly emphasises this. Not only in the over abundance of the support behind Arthur T because the way he treats his employees, but in general.

When was the last time you heard managers and FTE's get profit sharing at a supermarket?

When was the last time you heard FTE's getting full, DECENT benefits at a supermarket?

When was the last time you heard customers coming out in droves to support a CEO of a supermarket?

The answer to all three is NEVER. Because it just doesn't happen. The only two companies I can think that would come close to this or would have the employees and customers rally behind it's CEO.... Costco and Publix.

Publix is neat business model, its a fully employee owned store. You want stock in Publix, you need to be an employee and stay. Most Publix employees stay forever because the benefits are just that good. Publix is able to offer low prices, build beautiful stores, competitive wages and benefits, without sacrificing customer satisfaction. Why? because they aren't trying to please a board or a CEO, the only people the employees are trying to please are themselves, since they are the stock holders.

(For those who don't know Publix is a Florida-based Supermarket Chain)

But regardless, Market Basket isn't Anti-Union because they don't need to be. They treat their employees right, and typically unions start to penetrate new markets/stores when employee/wage/safety issues start. Market Basket has none of these, hence no union needed!

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where over 3000 employees and supporters stood out in 100 degree heat in support of Arthur T. Color me impressed. MB rules. That's what should have gone in Charlestown as opposed to a WF.

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Yes I agree, 3000 people standing out in front of a hotel in 100 degree heat to support a supermarket's CEO just does not happen every day. I, too, am very impressed. I thought I was the only one who had an insane obsession with Market Basket, apparently not.

I think that the Johnnie's in Ctown should have been sold to Market Basket. Actually, I think the DeJesus family should have sold ALL the stores to Market Basket. Johnnies fits in with Market Basket's business model (low prices). I'm curious to know why they did not.. I wonder if there's some deep down resentment against the Demoulas Family from the DeJesus family.

I'm gonna go out and take an educated guess that I'm sure WF and S&S offered a TON more money to the DeJesus family to suck up all the leases on their stores. Far more than I think Market Basket would be willing to pay (Artie T is one shrewd business man and he probably knows when he's being milked) AND far more than what the stores are actually worth. So they probably are taking a loss on these stores.

It's worth it to S&S and WF to suck up the Johnnies chain at a loss. Why? Because it stops Market Basket from moving in and affecting nearby S&S/WF locations. If a MB opened up at the old Johnnie's Medford location (at Fellsway @ Salem), All three nearby S&S's would have taken a hit (Medford, Somerville, and Malden). So I think S&S just bought that lease just so no one else would move in. (Come on, does Medford/Malden really need ANOTHER Stop & Shop, they already have three!)

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Full disclosure, yes I work for them. Proudly, in fact. Make of that whatever you like.

Wal-Foods just fired some employees in Arizona for breaking the english-only rule there

This is not true. The employees in question were not fired, but rather disciplined. I don't know the full details, so I'm not about to stand up for the management in question's decision, whether it was fairly implemented or not, because it very well may have not been. However, it's important to note that the actual rule at Whole Foods as stated in the employee handbook which I am holding my hands right now:

"- if you speak English and are in the presence of customers, it is essential that your conversations be in English."

I don't entirely agree with this policy, especially considering many stores elsewhere in the country are located in areas where many of the customers speak Spanish, because I feel like this is better left to a case-by-case basis where it's management's discretion as to whether the employee is being specifically insubordinate or unhelpful, which is what the rule was created for clearly, but it's not fair to depict it as "english-only" in the way you have, as employees are certainly not forbidden from speaking to each other about non-work related matters in any language.

edited to add: revisions have been made to the policy: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2013/06/15/w...

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Do not speak in a manner that the customers think you are gossiping about them.

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Half my family speaks Spanish. I have learned just how much white people are afraid that anyone speaking another language might be talking about them. My girlfriends and right-leaning friends have gotten very insistent that complete strangers are making fun of them in another language.

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I come from a neighborhood where most people spoke at least some Spanish, and the paranoia amongst the people who didn't speak any Spanish was over the top.

I used to tell them, why not pick up a few phrases so you can

a) Learn what you think they're saying about you, or

b). realize that you're really not as important as you thought you were (they're not talking about you at all).

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...not their headquarters being local. Nor are they referring to Wheatgrass Squeezer Union "local" 107.

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I'm a former UFCW union member, formerly working at A&P. You speak highly of the union. Are you a member? Do you speak from experience?

To me, being in the union was like having a mobster take a cut of my paycheck every week. And don't get me started on initiation fees, which basically wipe out your first paycheck. Kind of a big deal for someone earning barely more than minimum wage. Benefits weren't any better than what you'd get negotiating with management on your own. The UFCW is just another level of bureacracy. Young ambitious employees find their job growth stifled for policy that reward politics and seniority, regardless of quality.

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...welcome to the Dark Side.

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...a Herald photographer was on the scene!

IMAGE(http://images6.fanpop.com/image/photos/33100000/Angry-Old-Man-Yells-At-Cloud-random-33173915-400-300.jpg)

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Why is it that everyone who shops there looks so sickly?

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as opposed to the other chains' clientele?

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American Provisions and Foodies.

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You idiots are still arguing about supermarkets and wheatgrass!

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If you want me to go on arguing, you'll have to pay for another five minutes.

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never five minutes!

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